It gave us many things: an excuse to stay inside, a reason to sleep in, an answer to why a few pounds may have settled around our midriffs. “Because it’s winter and it’s cold outside. Shorter days mean longer nights and more sleep in the first place. Gaining fat in preparation for hibernating during the winter is a vestigial evolutionary trait from a distant mammalian ancestor…” we were able to answer in chorus.
My skin tone is a shade in between a raw umber and chocolate brown. On most forms, I am guessing for demographic purposes, I am Black/African American. Since elementary school, I have had this notion that February is a month for Black History. This year, as I grasp at threads to try and understand my identity, I find myself a bit perplexed.
The other day someone asked me if I was Nigerian. It wasn’t because my name implies the regional language called Yoruba, nor was it a lucky guess considering that Nigeria is Africa’s most populous country.
Artwork and artifacts from all four corners of the earth fill galleries and star in exhibits in museums across the world. In the world’s most prestigious museums and galleries, taking a stroll through the corridors has become synonymous with meandering through the history of cultures and civilizations that represent every continent on this planet.
A week ago, Oct. 12, was Columbus Day—a fact that probably went by unnoticed by most, unless they happened to glance at a calendar that noted federal American holidays. Since I have become more aware of the historical inaccuracy and deletions of key facts present in my elementary school’s history curriculum, which continued in various degrees at subsequent levels of my education until recently, every 12th of October I have been a little miffed about why we recognize Columbus and his “discovery” of the “New World.”
Stay up to date with everything happening as Washington University returns to campus.Subscribe